Anticipation of Christmas at our house started early this year. As in July.
It was a hot, sweaty, summer day, and Danny and I were up in his room. Suddenly, he came to me and said, “Mama, I wanna krimatree.”
“What do you want?” Being that it was the middle of July, Christmas trees were the furthest thing from my mind.
“A WHAAA???” I said, dumbfounded, trying to figure out my three-year old’s speech.
“I wanna KRIMATREE!!!!”
“Buddy, why don’t you show me what you’re talking about. Can you show me?”
Clearly knowing what he wanted, he took the lead and made a bee-line to his bedroom window. I opened the curtains, and raised the blinds and he pointed across the street at the perfectly formed evergreen in our neighbor’s front yard across the street.
“A Chrima-Tree!!” he said, more clearly.
“OH!! A Christmas Tree!” I said, finally understanding.
“YEEEAAAAAAHHH!!!” he shouted, as if my realization called for a celebration worthy of Christmas day itself.
“Oh, buddy, that’s not ours. That belongs to our friends across the street.”
“I want THAT Chrima Tree in the downstairs,” Danny said, as though he’d had it all planned out in his little mind months before.
“Well, we can’t get THAT one, honey.”
“But I want THAT one!” He was becoming concerned.
“Well…” my wheels were turning. I believe in saying yes, whenever reasonable. The No's come easier that way. The Christmas box was easy to get to. The mini tree I had from college which became Danny’s as soon as he reached the age of “mine” was right on top, and there was ample time to pull it out. So why not? What child doesn't want to celebrate Christmas for six months?
And there you have the reason why there has been a fully decorated and lighted Christmas tree in Danny’s room since July. He also insisted on bringing said Christmas tree to my physical therapy appointment that afternoon. The staff thought it was a scream.
And secretly I've been thoroughly enjoying every bit of that small glow of Christmas that’s been lighting up his room at night ever since.
I recently learned of a pair of sisters who just couldn't go the whole 12 months without the blessed holiday, so every July, they get together and celebrate Christmas for the weekend. One comes in from out of town and together, they relish in peppermint hot chocolate, Christmas music, movies about boys who’ll “shoot their eye out” and clay reindeer, candy-cane covered pajamas and yes, even presents. They do Christmas in July and they do it well.
I think I may start a new tradition at our house.
Fall is my favorite season. I love the changing colors, the cooler weather, the hot drinks and the sweaters that hide the resulting handlebars that inevitably find their way to my side. But mostly, I love the anticipation of Christmas. I AM that shameless woman who can hardly wait till Thanksgiving to break out the Manheim Steamroller CDs. But July?? I mean, that’s a little early, even for me.
But I got to thinking the other night, as we were driving across the state to a tiny Kansas town for the weekend to spend with friends. What if I anticipated Jesus the way Danny anticipates Christmas Day. I have not the tiniest shred of an idea about when Jesus will return. As far as I’m concerned, it may as well be a lifetime from now. Six months, from July to December, is a lifetime in the mind of a preschooler. But that doesn't seem to stop him from waking each morning, hoping that today will bring snow.
This weekend, the temperature dropped into the 20’s at our house. It was downright frigid last week, and when I attempted to talk Danny into his jacket due to the snow-like weather, he looked at me and about burst, yelling, “It’s CHRIMAS TIME!!!!”
Oh and there goes my bleeding heart, walking away in size 6 Lightning McQueen tennis shoes, teaching my heart to anticipate my Savior with a child-like abandon.
God, you sure do know what you’re doing. I couldn’t have thought it up better myself.